Pastor’s Keyboard: For priests, there is no busier time of year than Lent and Holy Week. My family usually recognizes that they will not even hear from me during Holy Week and my friends often joke that they will see me in the Easter Season, knowing that I will not call or see them much during Lent. One of the hardest parts for many priests (myself included) during this time is finding a balance between the time we give for preparations, extra Masses and Confessions, and our own spiritual preparation. The temptation to skip extra prayer, scripture meditation (outside of homily prep), extra necessary sleep, and time with our own confessors and spiritual directors is huge! Yet I know that I cannot give what I do not myself have; I cannot truly feed you unless I myself have been fed and I cannot love unless I have first received love from Him who is the source of all love. So why do I tell you about this struggle within myself and so many of my brother priests? Because I know that many of you have the same struggles as I do. The difference is that you have children, grandchildren, work, school, and a myriad of other activities that pull at you during this time just like myself. Yet Christ is calling you and me to a deeper encounter with Himself this season. It is not easy to make the time for extra prayer and silence, yet we need to. The Lord wants to deepen His encounter with you. He wants you to know more deeply His love and to hear His voice. This can only happen if we seek not just to find time for prayer and meditation on His Word, but we make time for it. This is the last week of Lent and then comes Holy Week. There is no time like the present. Plan ahead to intensify your time with the Lord these next two weeks. You have nothing to lose and so much more to gain. May you and I both take seriously the call and the challenge to “Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord”!
Your Brother and Father in Christ,